Saturday, October 13, 2007

Heartbreak and Redemption

Until Thursday I'd managed to avoid being seduced by the potential huge money of multitables for the first 10 days of October. While I've certainly had some strong finishes lately, in order to get my $3,000 year end bonus I need to focus on generating frequent player points and multitables are the absolute worst way to earn points.

On Thursday morning as I started my day, in words similar to those spoken by addicts everywhere I told myself, "I'll just play one!" I jumped into "The Daily Fifty Grand" a tournament that guarantees a fifty thousand dollar prize pool, has a $55 buy in and starts with double the starting chips. The tournament went off at noon with 1,184 players and 3,000 chips.

I was playing 5 SNG's at the same time as this tournament so I wasn't really concerned that nothing happened during the first hour. Shortly after the first break I won a few pots and had my stack up to about 8,000 (most of the details of this tournament are pretty much gone in my head since it was a few days ago now so excuse my vague recap). I cruised along for a while at about that level and then I lost most of my chips with AQ against AK. I was down to a little over 2,000 with blinds at 200/400 with a 25 chip ante and feeling like I was dead.

In order to go really deep in a tournament everything has to go almost perfectly. In big tournaments that I've won or made final tables it seems like I've won every major confrontation the whole way through. That was not the case in this tournament. I was up and then down and then up again. I ran my stack up to 50,000 when average was 20,000 and then I was back down to 15,000. Then I was up to 80,000 when average was 40,000 and then back down to 25,000. I was sure I was on my way out four or five times, but then I'd slowly work my way back up. Sometimes you get such good cards that there's almost no way you could mess it up. This was not one of those tournaments. I felt like I was fighting for every chip.

As the players dropped and we got down to a few tables I had a great chance to make the final table. With 1st place over $12,000 and 8th or higher paying at least $1,000 I had my eye on a big pay day. With 36 players left the average stack was just under 100,000 chips and I had over 170,000.

I stayed right at that level, just stealing enough blinds to stay where I was until we were down to two tables. Then I started to fade a little. The blinds were up to 6000/12000 with a 1200 chip ante and I was at an aggressive table. A few people dropped, but so did the number of chips I had and when we were down to 14 players the blinds went up to 8000/16000. I knew it would be time to make a move soon.

The average stack had ballooned to over 250,000 and I was down to about 120,000 feeling like I would need a big break to make the final table. In fact it felt a little hopeless. There didn't seem to be too many week points at my table and no one was particularly short stacked.

Then I picked up KK in the big blind! AH HA! The buttoned raised to 40,000 and I hit him with a small reraise to 72,000. He could have just about anything raising from the button and I thought there was a chance he might fold if I just moved all in. I had the second best possible starting hand and I wanted action.

My opponent just called and the flop came down J 9 8. I moved all in for my remaining 50,000 or so chips and after almost no thought my opponent called. He turned over QJ which meant I was ahead, but I needed to dodge a Q a J or a T (I was 67.7% to win at this point) in order to win. The turn was an 8 which was a great card because it meant that I no longer needed to worry about a Q beating me (I was 86.4% to win at this point). Then the river came down a J! SHIT! I was out in 14th place and left muttering F-Bombs under my breath for 10 minutes.

I won $320 for my efforts which is pretty good. But when you finish 14th out of 1184 you'd like to have more to show for it. For the average player they could expect to do that well or better only 1 time in 85 and to only profit 6 times the initial buy in kind of sucks. I don't think there's anything wrong with the payout schedule, but despite what it seems like in the past two months, these opportunities don't come along every day. It's heartbreaking to be so close to thousands of dollars and only come away with a few hundred. Especially when you were 86% to win a big pot with one card to come. BASTARDS!

The good news is that was the heartbreak and there is a story of redemption from today. The bad news is I'm going to leave it as a bit of a cliff hanger! HA HA! Take that loyal readers! I can see you all now feverish checking for updates, clicking on refresh every 5 minutes, desperate to hear my story of redemption. You people need help! Anyway I'll give you the good news from today in my next post which should be up sometime tomorrow (no waiting for you Monday morning at work readers!).

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